No. 4: Injuries could play a key factor for Deebo Samuel, 49ers
For whatever the reasons, San Francisco has suffered a disproportionate amount of injuries the past two years. A year ago, the Niners lost 19 players to injured reserve, and Football Outsiders ranked the 49ers the sixth most-injured team, according to their adjusted-games-lost metric.
Samuel stayed healthy for most of the season, missing just one of the team’s regular-season contests.
The problem, though, is Samuel comes with a bit of an injury history. In 2017, Samuel suffered a broken leg during his time at South Carolina, limiting him to just three games. During his recovery, Samuel also suffered a foot sprain which prevented him from returning to the field that year.
Fortunately, the injuries didn’t cut into his senior campaign, and he was able to be productive enough to convince the Niners to grab him in the 2019 draft.
As far as future injury predictions go, it’s impossible to accurately guess. Yet the league’s altered offseason programs, due to the current global pandemic, could have some effect on how players react to a shortened preparatory time.
It’s anyone’s guess whether or not this could affect Samuel or anyone else. But the reality is there, and a would-be second-year struggle from the wide receiver simply could be to him being banged up or missing time altogether.